FPV: My Experience and kit list (with links)

Hi All,

I was part of a thread on here the other day about an FPV package drone and it got me thinking other than the ready to fly kits usually small whoop drones it is quite a tricky task on how to start FPV so I thought that I would share my experience in venturing into FPV from a complete beginner perspective along with a list of the kit I purchased to get me started along with the cost and a link of where to get it here in the UK.

After watching countless youtube videos and reading recommendations from @Wyntrblue FPV Guide I purchased my Radiomaster TX16s and battery at a total cost of £140.21 including shipping. I chose this radio for 2 reasons 1) it is compatible with a Simulator as it has a USB C port on the top of it to connect to a PC and 2) it will grow with me into the hobby but also will be easily sellable if I found that FPV wasn’t for me.

The next thing that I purchased was a simulator and after watching more youtube videos I opted for velocidrone I used youtube to setup my TX16s with the sim and spent several hours playing with the sticks and getting used to the feel of the drones in the sim.

Next I purchased a set of goggles I opted for a set of Fat Shark Scouts at a cost of £202.92 including shipping a very good set of goggles, really small profile for a box goggle and again pretty easy to sell on if I didn’t like it. I did purchase a set of leads from amazon so that I can connect them to my PC and use them with the simulator but I really didn’t use it much so I won’t bother linking them but if anybody wants the links for them just ask.

Next I purchased a tinywhoop drone the Eachine US65 DE65 PRO from Banggood at cost of £82.93 Banggood has some crazy coupon that saved me a couple of quid. I flew this around the house and my work place to start with it was almost impossible to control but after watching one of Joshua Bardwells videos on whoop style drones I used beta flight to add a 50% scaled throttle and this made it much more manageable.

Next up I wanted to get myself out of the house and outdoors, worrying that my flying skills still wasn’t up to a good standard I didn’t want to jump straight into a full 5inch drone and end up killing myself or somebody else so I opted for the Tinyhawk Freestyle 2 at a cost of £104.87 including shipping. This drone is fantastic for beginners as it fly’s just like a 5inch drone (Or so I am told as I haven’t flown a full size 5inch quad myself yet) but this thing rips and handles the wind extremely well (in acro mode) I had a fly away the very first time I flew this drone. I was only planning on doing a quick up and down flight to check I’d put the props on correctly and the wind took it and because it was in angle mode I didn’t have enough forward pitch to combat the wind so after 40 minutes of searching for my lost tinyhawk I found it and when I got it back home I connected it to beta flight and increased the pitch in angle mode from 30 to 55 so that this won’t happen again. although I’m now flying in acro mode so this no longer matters.

and this is where I am today I currently have an iFlight Nazgul5 V2 on order from banggood as my first full size 5inch drone at a cost of £162.03.

Next on my to buy list will be a Lipo battery charger and some 4s Lipo batteries (Any recommendations would be much appreciated)

And this pretty much wraps up where I am with my FPV venture and a little bit of where it is taking me. If anybody has any questions or needs any advice on any of the kit listed above please feel free to get in touch :slight_smile:
I hope you found this useful in some way I just figured its quite a hard hobby to start out in and it is a minefield of information that is needed to actually get started so I thought that I would share my experience to hopefully help anybody else that is thinking about starting in FPV.

Many Thanks Deano.

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Isdt any you like. 4s I like “thefpv” batteries a lot from unmanned tech Ana they are my go to supplier

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Mine too although I find the stock levels always seem pretty low on stuff some times lol but definitely a fantastic company fast and efficient.

Will have a look at the chargers and batteries you reccomend once I get paid, as you can see from above it’s been a pretty expensive couple of months but 100% worth it lol

I use these lipos (out of stock at the moment, but next day delivery when in stock) and an isdt q6 pro charger. Although I think I ought to have gone for a dual charger like the ISDT D2 200w dual charger. It would have been handier.
Bear in mind you will probably have to get a dc supply for the ISDT as they don’t take mains 240. I use an old plc psu 24v 10A. Anything from 7-24 is good, but the lower the voltage, the higher the current draw.
You probably won’t use 200watts, unless you parallel charge (which I wouldn’t recommend) but get a supply that can deliver 300-400 watts to be safe (if my maths are correct :grin:)

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I use the GNB 520mah 1s batteries on my tinyhawk freestyle 2. They seem pretty solid :+1:t2:

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These look pretty solid and cheaper too:

:+1:t2: but again out of stock :rofl:

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Let me speak to Alex (umt owner and see when they are expecting more )

When UMT have no stock try…

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No rush mate, I’m skint till pay day anyways they’ll probably be back in stock by then and my 5inch hasn’t even shipped from banggood yet either so I’m in no rush just yet. Just weighing up my options :+1:t2:

Nice one steve :ok_hand:t2:

I use the same with my original Freestyle, flight times are pretty good, either that or I’m not trying hard enough.

All my five inch quads are older models (I’ve even heard them referred to as vintage), Vortex 285’s, Riot 250Pro’s, I even have some Ares Crossfires. Therefore the electrickery is not the most advanced and using batteries that can discharge the capacity of a nuclear power plant in nanoseconds would be a false economy. So I use Hobbyking’s Zippy Compact 1400mAh 60C/130C 4s packs. When HK have a sale on these can usually be bought for about £8 a piece.

For charging: 99% of the time I fly at my club’s airstrip and this is where I charge my batteries. I carry a leisure battery in the boot of my car and use a Turnigy 12Volt, four port charger (200Watts on each port). Again this was from Hobbyking and was £40 in a sale. I rarely charge my batteries at home and if I do it’s just the odd one to use during building/testing, but I use the same charger on a 13.8Volt 60Amp PSU I have left over from my amateur radio days.

Radio wise my main driver for the last seven years has been my Taranis X9D which I use the JP-4in1 module for when I have to degrade myself and use a Spektrum protocol, and an EzUHF module for long range. I’m also currently doing the wee-wee dance in anticipation of the release of ImmersionRC’s Ghost Long range (LoRa) system as sensibly priced EzUHF receivers are getting harder to find. I’m also twitching away at the “Buy Now” button on UMT’s site for the Radiomaster Masterfire package. As much as I love my Taranis it’s getting a little tired now and the screen of on the Radiomaster is more suited for some of the Ardupilot telemetry scripts I want to run.

All the above is confidential, what happens on GADC stays on GADC, as the last time my wife got wind of my future purchase plans she staged an intervention.

Nidge.

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Secret is safe with me mate lol

Yeah I love the Radiomaster TX16S it’s a fantastic radio and reasonable price for what you get. I paid the little extra for the hall gimbals and I must say they are smooth.

I must admit Lipo batteries have always scared me lol after reading the horror stories. Which is kinds why I’ve left them till last on my to buy list so that I can make sure that I get all the correct information so that I can charge and discharge them safely without burning down my house :rofl:

99.99% of the time LiPo’s are perfectly safe. Problems usually occur when you try to do something stupid, usually involving those multi_balance boards, fast charging a LiPo’s way beyond its spec, or deciding that the battery that looks like a balloon or crashed into a new and unique shape is still good.

When I first started using liPo’s I built a metal charging box with a smoke detector inside and a temperature sensor I could attach to the battery. Probably a bit overkill. Nowadays, because I don’t know what my pain levels and medication needs are from one day to the next, I charge my batteries as and when I need them at the field. By the time I’ve set my station up and built the planes I’ve brought to fly the batteries are charged and ready to go.

Nidge

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